A few weeks ago, LAX announced that they had won approval to build a dedicated VIP terminal for celebrities, sports figures, diplomats, and anyone else looking to have privacy while waiting for their flights or after arriving at LAX. Their cars will be able to drop them at the terminal so that they can avoid interactions with the normal people as well as the paparazzi.
The plan calls for the redevelopment of a cargo hangar by a private LA VIP security firm. The firm says that they expect to have the terminal operational in as little as 6-8 months (first in a temporary state). The firm will pay $3M to renovate the property and manage the terminal during the 10 year lease. It will also have to work with the TSA, Customs and Border Protection, and the airlines to ensure access for the clientele. LAX estimates that it will earn $34M over the length of the lease.
It will the the first dedicated VIP terminal at a US airport. The cost to use the terminal will be about $1,800 per trip and include “exclusive lounges, dedicated catering and separate security and border checkpoints.” Guests will be driven directly to their plane when it’s time to board. “Guests using the new terminal will have to walk about 60 steps, compared to as many as 2,200 from street to plane seat via the public terminals.”
The terminal will be modeled after the Windsor Suite at Heathrow which was originally created for the royal family and visiting heads of state. Access today is available for £2,000 per trip. If the terminal proves a success, the firm plans to open up similar offerings at JFK and SFO, with potentially ORD, DFW, and MIA being introduced at a later time.
Here’s what LAX had to say:
Allowing celebrities a private route through the airport will also make traveling more pleasant for the general public, who have often been caught up in media scrums.Should we be aware of paparazzi at the airport or surrounding public areas, the airport team will request they cease and move on.